This is beautiful
No matter how many photographs of Earth you’ve seen, you’ve literally never seen ones like this.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) new GOES-16 satellite has just realized stunning new images of Planet Earth whose detail and perspective provide an entirely new way of looking at our home.
“Seeing these first images from GOES-16 is a foundational moment for the team of scientists and engineers who worked to bring the satellite to launch and are now poised to explore new weather forecasting possibilities with this data and imagery,” NOAA’s Stephen said in a statement. “The incredibly sharp images are everything we hoped for based on our tests before launch.”
However, the GOES-16 team says the stunning images are “more than just pretty pictures,” the satellite was launched to provide cutting edge reports on weather patterns, including climate change. The more precise data will allow for more accurate and rapid emergency warnings in advance of extreme weather conditions – a practice that will literally save lives.
Amazingly, the satellite can capture a full rendering of the entire planet every 30 minutes and capture images encompassing all of the U.S. in just five minutes. According to NASA, the full gallery of images released today include:
An image of the continental United States showing the significant storm system that crossed North America on January 15, 2017
A 16-panel image showing the continental United States in the two visible, four near-infrared and 10 infrared channels on ABI.
An image showing dust blowing off the coast of Africa
An image of the Caribbean and Florida that shows some of the shallows waters in the region.
A view of Argentina, South America, in which mountain wave clouds can be seen in the southwestern part of the country.
And then, there is this stunning paneled set of 16 images of the continental U.S. (four in near-infared and 12 in full infrared), of which NOAA says:
“These channels help forecasters distinguish between differences in the atmosphere like clouds, water vapor, smoke, ice and volcanic ash. GOES-16 has three-times more spectral channels than earlier generations of GOES satellites.”